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Trump becomes first US President to be impeached twice

The US House of Representatives has condemned President Donald Trump on a single impeachment count of “incitement of insurrection”, making him the first US President to ever be impeached twice.

“He must go,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love.”

Mr Trump was last impeached in December 2019 on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. However he was acquitted by the Senate.

Today’s proceedings occur a week after Mr Trump urged on a violent mob of supporters to storm Capitol Hill, causing 5 deaths.

Mr Trump spent months drumming up anger by falsely alleging that the election had been stolen from him, calling upon his supporters to “fight like hell” against the election results.

Although threats of violence persist, the House reconvened to vote to impeach Mr Trump a week before he leaves office.

Under the protection of thousands of National Guard troops, 10 House Republicans crossed the floor. This was an extraordinary move, as the Republican party previously voted unanimously against Mr Trump’s impeachment in 2019.

The final vote today was 232-197, demonstrating bipartisan condemnation of Mr Trump’s actions.

Liz Cheney, the chair of the House Republican Conference and daughter of former Republican Vice-President Dick Cheney, voiced her support for the impeachment before the vote.

“This insurrection caused injury, death and destruction in the most sacred space in our Republic,” said Ms Cheney.

“The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.

“There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

This impeachment has caused a rift in Republican leadership.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise both opposed the impeachment. Mr McCarthy instead proposed a censure, which is a non-binding, formal statement of disapproval.

Ohio Republican Jim Jordan, who recently received the Medal of Freedom from Mr Trump, has said he will move to oust Ms Cheney from her role as House Republican Conference Chair.

However all eyes will now be focused on the Senate.

To convict Mr Trump, the Senate will require a two-thirds majority of the 100 member body. This means that at least 17 Republican Senators will need to join the Democrats in ousting the President.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said that there is “no chance” that Mr Trump’s impeachment trial will take place before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

“Congress and the executive branch [must] spend the next seven days completely focused on facilitating a safe inauguration and an orderly transfer of power to the incoming Biden Administration,” said Mr McConnell.

However Mr McConnell has not confirmed his position, which is a stark contrast to his opposition against Mr Trump’s impeachment in 2019.

“[I have] not made a final decision on how I will vote, and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate,” said Mr McConnell.

If Mr McConnell votes to impeach Mr Trump this will attract more Republican votes, making the likelihood of a guilty verdict much higher.

Mr Biden has released a statement, condemning the violence at Capitol Hill and calling for accountability.

“It was an armed insurrection against the United States of America. And those responsible must be held accountable.”

Mr Trump is yet to comment on his impeachment.

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Ann Wen

Ann Wen

Ann is a journalist at Dynamic Business.

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